This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Four editions delivered to over 88,000 homes every month MalMalling Editionling Edition

Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper

FREE Maidstone Town | Maidstone East | Maidstone South | Malling

Bid to end ‘phoenix’ firms tax loophole

THOUSANDS of pounds of tax is being unpaid because of entrepreneurs who claim their Maidstone-based businesses are bankrupt, only for their assets to be transferred to a company with a different name.

The recipient is known as a phoenix company and though the practice is legal, Maidstone Coun- cil is lobbying for a change of law after recently writing off £636,883 in unrecoverable business rates from 18 failed businesses, accumu- lated during seven years. Downs Mail can reveal that Mark

Wilson (52) and his brother Robert (56), who both live in Bearsted, have continued to run the Straw- berry Moons nightclub in Gabriel’s Hill despite it being associated with failed companies under their au- thority that failed to pay more than £48,000 to Maidstone Council and owed £210,000 to the taxman. Partner Club Limited, which

Mayor joins fencing fun

THE Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling, Cllr Owen Baldock, enjoyed the swashbuckling fun of fencing during the borough council’s summer activity scheme. A group of 16 youngsters spent two hours learning the basic techniques of the sport with professional coach Kornel Kossuth from Tongswood Fencing Club at The Malling School in East Malling. Under the watchful eye of their coach, the children practised their moves with the mayor, who also tried out a few parries.

The mayor and his band

Cllr Baldock said: “I’m amazed at how quickly the children picked up the art of fencing, which is definitely not as easy as it looks.” The Activate programme focuses

on a range of more unusual activities including archery, windsurfing, pottery, fishing, TV presenting and cookery.

listed Robert Wilson as a director and Mark as a secretary, was liqui- dated in March 2010 with debts of £553,841, including £32,937 that re- mains unpaid to Maidstone Coun- cil and more than £80,000 to HM Revenue and Customs. A month earlier Wilson Fun Company Ltd, for whom the brothers held the same positions, was liquidated with debts of more than £130,000 to HM Revenue & Customs. In May last year their company 1MK Ltd, which had the same ad- dress as the nightclub, owed the council £15,403 when it was liqui- dated. The council’s policy and re- sources committee agreed to write off the debt.

However, since October 2014

they have been directors of Club Trading Ltd, which also has its ad- dress at 28-32 Gabriel’s Hill. The following month Strawberry Moons issued a health and safety statement that confirmed the broth- erswere directors of the nightclub. RobWilson said: “It is with deep

regret that these companies went into liquidation due to the reces- sion. It is also unfortunate that Maidstone Borough Council has had to write off £15,000 in rates.” The Wilson brothers also launched The Brenchley in the High Street two years ago. Their failed companies owed at least £667 to Maidstone

14 Cash query as

bypass agreed MAIDSTONE Council is set to press ahead with the Leeds-Lang- ley bypass, but there is still no indi- cation of how the scheme will be funded.

01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent

The proposed road linking the A274 south-east of Maidstone with the A20 near M20 Junction 8 has been an aspiration for more than 30 years. It has become even more im- portant in recent years, with the council's local plan target of 18,560 homes between 2011 and 2031 in- cluding about 4,000 homes along the Sutton Road corridor. Previously the link road idea had caused divisions but the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board, con- taining borough, county and parish councillors, has recommended the inclusion of the scheme in the Inte- grated Transport Strategy (ITS), which will form part of the local plan. But Cllr Paul Carter, who lives in Langley and repre- sents Maidstone Rural16

Kent’s Most Awarded Optician

Book Now 01732 617557

August 2015 No. 220 News Fun on the river

ALMOST 100 boats lined along the Medway for the informal boat gathering, collated by River Medway Boaters. 4

Cabbies’ safety tips

LOCAL taxi drivers are being trained to help guard against child abuse. 10

Involve replaces Vam 25

LOCAL charity Voluntary Action Maidstone is to change its name to Involve.

Hospital boost

THE local NHS Trust says the treatment of strokes is improving.


Parish Councils Comment


46-47 30-31

31 40-41

SUGGESTIONS were to be made to reduce flooding in East Peck- ham, where a new community warden was to begin in autumn; street lights were troubling locals in Kings Hill; strawberries had been stolen from fields in Mere- worth and sold at boot fairs.

Crime Reports 41

ITEMS stolen included a mobility scooter outside a community centre in Ditton and red diesel from a vehicle parked in road- works in Aylesford. Two trees were killed with weed killer in a back garden in Kings Hill; cata- pults were used to damage a window in East Malling.

Town Talk alk

KIND-HEARTED locals have raised £30,000 to give four-year- old Jamie Maynard the chance to walk. For more details see Town Talk in the central pages of this month’s Downs Mail. The bi-monthly independent magazine is dedicated to Snod- land and Halling residents.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48